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Joyce Steps Down After 41 Years
By: Brad Herson

Long time physical education and weight training teacher Fred Joyce has announced we will retire after the 2006-2007 school year.

Joyce first started teaching at Gaithersburg High School in the fall of 1966. Over the years, he has taught physical education and weight training. He has also served as the defensive coach for the varsity football team and as one of the head track and field coaches.

"My wife wants to travel while we are still physically able to. Other than that, I'd stay," explains Joyce.

Joyce has made a huge impact in GHS athletics, winning three football state titles along with many state finals appearances. He was the coach of five track and field state championships as well as four state finalists. He is one of the main reasons GHS track and field is one of the top track programs in the state and is nationally known.

Joyce has coached many great individuals in football and track. Joyce coached former Philadelphia Eagle and current Cleveland Brown Hank Fraley as well as various other successful football players who went on to play in college and in the NFL.

In track, he has coached every event including sprints, distance and field events. Joyce coached one of the best distance squads in GHS history in the 70's. Joyce's specialty is the field events, mainly the shot put and the discus. He has coached countless state champions in the events, including his two sons and three nephews. "My oldest son, Jim Joyce, holds the state record for the shot put which was set in 1979," says Joyce. His younger son, Dave Joyce, was a shot put and discus state champion, and nephews David, Mike, and Kevin Neubiser were all state champions in the shot put and discus.

He has also coached many other shot putters and discus throwers to state championships, such as John Rydzeski (1999), A.J Lillie (2002), T.J Toozer (2004) and most recent state champion Sean Stanely (2007).

"Taking my two sons and three nephews through their high school careers and coaching them all to state championships were all proud moments for me," explains Joyce.

Before coming to GHS, Joyce was a three time state champion in the shot put and discus at Fort Hill High School and went to the University of Maryland on a football scholarship. He started his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, and was co-captain his senior year.

"I am happy for him. He deserves it. No body is aware of how much time Joyce has put into the students, athletes, the community and the school. You don't get teachers like Joyce anymore. Teachers now, they teach for five years and then move on. He is a fixture in the community and a foundation in the community. He was a big and positive influence on me. He is a good friend. He is the corner stone of the football and track programs. We will miss him," says assistant football and track coach Fran Parry.

Joyce is also the first ever assistant coach to be inducted into the Maryland Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

"I want to be remembered as a coach that really cared. My advice to other teachers is to get involved with the kids," says Joyce.

After Joyce retires, he will use his spare time to travel and fish. "I plan on buying a trailer to travel for a couple of years while I still can," says Joyce.

Joyce will still help coach the varsity football team and may return to help coach track and field.


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